York starting pitcher Alex Taylor throws to first base to record an out in a Little League District 4 tournament baseball game. York beat Saco 8-3 to keep its tournament hopes alive SAM BONSEY/Journal Tribune

SACO — For the second straight game, York relied on an explosive offense to keep its title hopes alive. 

York used an eight-run third inning to break open its elimination game against Sanford on Monday. On Wednesday, trailing Saco 2-0 in the second, Brody Gullison hit a grand slam to spark a six-run outburst and help York to an 8-3 victory in the championship of the District 4 Little League Baseball Tournament for 10 to 12-year-olds in Saco.

“We chip away, we tie it up, and then, ‘Boom,’ we broke it open (with the grand slam),” said York coach Ed Gullison. “It gave the boys what they needed.”

Saco and York are scheduled to play again on Friday in a winner-take-all matchup with a spot in the state tournament on the line. Saco entered Wednesday’s tilt with an unblemished record in the double-elimination tournament. The time and location had yet to be determined at the time of print deadline. 

Saco jumped out to the early lead off York starter Alex Taylor in the top of the first when Wyatt Benoit and Dominic Hussey each scored on a throwing error from shortstop Ryan Cummins. 

SAM BONSEY/Journal tribune
Cam Cyr of Saco dives back to first base during a Little League title game on Wednesday in Saco. York beat Saco, 8-3, to force a decisive Game 2 on Friday in the double-elimination tournament.

York quickly erased the deficit off Benoit, who took the mound for Saco, in the second. After consecutive singles Joyce and Cummins, Robbie Hanscom reached on an infield error, which allowed both runners to cross home plate and tie the score.

Jon Jacobson and Parker Murch followed with singles to load the bases, and Brody Gullison delivered the grand slam to right field to put York ahead 6-2 much to the excitement of dad.

“It didn’t hurt that it was my son, too, who got the big hit,” said Ed Gullison. “That made it so much better.”

York added a pair of runs in the third on a Taylor RBI single that drove in Joyce and on a wild pitch that allowed Cummins to make the score 8-2.

Parker Murch took over on the mound for Taylor in the third, and didn’t allow a run until the fifth, when Tyler Brown drove in Cam Cyr with a single to make it 8-3. 

Even though Saco suffered its first loss of the tournament, Saco head coach Warren Kenniston thinks his players will come focused on Friday with a district championship on the line.

“We’ll be ready to go,” Kenniston said. “We have one more game. It’s a winner-take-all, and the winner goes to the state tournament … This is what it’s all about. It’s fun.”

Kenniston’s counterpart agrees. 

“It’s just fun to play a team like (Saco),” said Ed Gullison. “Those guys are great, and it’s a good matchup. Both teams are pretty equal. But I couldn’t be more proud of my guys. They are just a great group of kids.”

 

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